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Home Blog Popcorn Parent Movie Reviews Family Movie Review: Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom (PG-13)

Family Movie Review: Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom (PG-13)

MandelaLongWalktoFreedom ChesapeakeFamilyMovieReviewKernel Rating (out of 5): whole-popcorn-kernalwhole-popcorn-kernalhalf-popcorn-kernal

MPAA Rating: PG-13        Length: 139 minutes

Age Appropriate For: 14+. The film is about the life of Nelson Mandela and spans numerous decades; in his childhood, there’s a brief scene implying male nudity but you don’t see anything; later on, he’s shown as a bit of a womanizer, with some kissing, groping, and implied sexual content. The film then switches to focus more on the brutality of apartheid, so he and his wife are tortured, battered, beaten, and imprisoned. The final third of the film focuses on the rebellion occurring in South Africa, with people killing each other, bloody corpses, gunfire, and people being set on fire. It’s all grounded in history so it’s not exploitative, but it may be overwhelming for younger teens.

‘Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom’ attempts to show us a different side of the Nobel Peace Prize winner, focusing not only on his attempts to end apartheid in South Africa but also his marriage to his second wife, Winnie. But while the performances of Idris Elba and Naomie Harris are quite strong, the film overall suffers from a sluggish pace and too-long runtime.

By Roxana Hadadi

When Nelson Mandela died earlier this month, one of the revolutionary’s quotes kept popping up everywhere: “No one is born hating another person because of the color of his skin. People learn to hate. They can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart.” The latest biopic about the former president of South Africa uses this quote as its closing lines, and it’s a lovely, timely moment; rest in peace, Mandela. But the film before that? It’s too long, too sluggishly paced, too unremarkable in script or staging. Lead actors Idris Elba and Naomie Harris do a solid job as Nelson and Winnie Mandela, respectively, but the rest of the film doesn’t rise to their caliber.

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